Thursday, December 2, 2010

Score! (Kindle for PC)

Always on the lookout for ideas to make traveling easier for me, recent television commercials for Amazon's Kindle got me thinking how nice it would be to have a single ebook reader when I go to Europe one of these days instead of packing travel guides, phrase books, and reading material for flights and long train rides.

Checking the features and reading the reviews for the latest version of the Kindle, the only thing I didn't like is that when the non-user-replaceable battery has to be replaced, customers have to send the unit back. After it's returned with a new battery, users have to download their libraries all over again. Since Amazon stores a backup copy of the user's library, bookmarks, highlighting, and notes, the inconvenience is only a matter of time unless there's a glitch somewhere that causes the loss of some books. However, users are able to download to a PC and save to a hard drive or other media, so it's easy enough to make your own backup of your library of ebooks and magazines which you should do anyway if you want to save all your magazines.

Seeing that the Kindle can read free ebooks from other sources as well, such as those from the Gutenberg Project, I decided to download the free Kindle for PC application along with several free ebooks to try out on my laptop. I have already finished reading two of my free ebooks and am very pleased.

In addition to the Kindle for PC app, other free Kindle apps are available for the Android Phone, BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, and Mac. With the iPhone app, you may also read Kindle books on the iPod Touch.

As a result, when I'm ready to travel to Europe, I plan to buy a Kindle to keep my load down. Looking at the two piles of books next to me, maybe I should get one sooner. After all, it is a whole lot less expensive than an iPad and according to, it has a lot of nice features that make it better for reading than an iPad.

Whether I get a Kindle right away or not, free app + free ebooks - the inconvenience of going to a library or buying from a regular book store = Score!

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